Childless pal treats her puppy like a baby — how can I tell her it’s unhealthy? – The Sun

DEAR DEIDRE: ONE of my friends treats her puppy like a baby. She plans her day around this dog and never leaves it at home alone. It’s unhealthy.

She can’t have children and IVF wasn’t an option for her. She told me she and her husband were hoping the puppy could fill the void.

If not, they said they would consider adoption.

I have a daughter of my own and I understand this must be so difficult. I’ve felt so guilty. My friend has hardly met my girl, as I have felt uneasy about it.

I’m 36 and my mate is 34. We’ve known each other since our teens and I feel uncomfortable about this.

DEIDRE SAYS: There are worse vices to have. We have a need to nurture and have someone depend on us. A dog can fit this very well.

However, like children, dogs do need firm boundaries, manners and discipline. Otherwise they can become dangerous.

Encourage your friend to take her puppy to training classes so it gets to socialise with other dogs – and she can meet other owners.

Hopefully, your friend will stop “babying” her dog once it grows up but you risk your friendship if you say anything critical around what is clearly a sensitive subject.

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